Sunday, October 18, 2009

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip #3

The last trip promised to be good and eventful. With the previous trip having everything organized, the transition between groups went very quickly and we were able to get on the water very early. The weather had also cleared up providing for some sunshine as we paddled across Grand Lake to our 1st portage on the Barron River. We very quickly realized that we had plenty of strength for our portages, as the 1st lift over went very quickly. We also saw a prediction of an eventful trip as one canoe got very stuck in the creek following the portage and we saw Nick donate his sunglasses to Stratton Lake as he went to relax on the back of the canoe.

This was followed by log rodeo and a crazy game of battle slugs at camp. A sign that maybe we should have made this day a bit longer. Dinner was as many burgers and hot dogs as you could possibly eat, which the group did. Everything was gone, although we found out later that they had stolen some hot dogs to roast over their own fire. Unfortunately, they could never get it going long enough to actually roast any hot dogs.

The 2nd day started off gorgeous and sunny. This was going to be our longest day, as we were travelling on 5 lakes and 4 portages (totaling 1500 m), as well as, a side trip to the water slides at High Falls. Now continuing on the theme of eventful, this day didn't disappoint. We started out by having to repack Troy, because we think he did bring the kitchen sink. We were not sure whether he would survive the 1st portage of the day (45 m). Then Nicole of the famous canoe that got stuck in the creek on day 1 decided to test the waters of High Falls Lake. To her defence, she had a choice, go down with the canoe or abort ship and save the canoe, she did save the canoe. As we hiked to the falls, it was another member of the same canoe that rolled her ankle just before the really rocky and uneven part of the hike. To her defence, she went on without a single complaint, even carrying more on the last portage than some of our lads.

To add to the fun, it was the 1st time ever that our school was forced to take a different campsite on Opalescent Lake and not camp on the best site ever (just had to rub it in). The next site was not badly set up and allowed us to use a great tarp structure to keep us sheltered from the tremendous amount of rain that would fall on us for the next 12 hours. It was the only heavy extended rain on all 3 trips, but we can't complain, as the spaghetti was great and the sun came out in the morning.

The rain ended about 9 in the morning and was followed by two hours of sunshine. We decide that we would delay our departure for the Barron Canyon until the afternoon to give us some time to dry things out a little. Some tents had been supporting a swimming pool. The weather stayed as unpredictable as ever, after a great game of 'lick the stick' the winds picked up like crazy. It was an extreme paddle across little Opalescent Lake to our longest portage of the trip. The 760 m portage however flew by as the everyone worked together really well. The next two portages went quick and we were in the Barron Canyon in no time.

This is where it got interesting again. After loading up with some candy and chocolate, and some wood, we enjoyed a sunny paddle through the 100 m high canyon. It was just before the end of the canyon and about 1 km from our last campsite that Scott and Patrick decided to throw the wood, along with the saw, into the water. In their defence however, they also threw themselves and their canoe into the Barron River as well. Rumour has it that another canoe rammed them. The funny thing is that Scott actually bounced off the water into another canoe and Patrick's clothes never even got wet even though he fully went in.

The boys were put in dry clothes and we proceeded to our final campsite. Camp was set quickly, wood was gathered and dinner was made. Dinner was a wonderful spread of fajitas and Jiffy Pop for dessert. The evening was nice and peaceful as most people retreated to their tents early.

The next morning presented the most beautiful day of the trip. With a perfect blue sky, we were greeted by a super friendly little fox. He hung around for about an half hour, even helping Branden get out of bed. With a simple final breakfast, we enjoyed the sunshine and short paddle back to the bus. What a great way to end a wonderful trip.

6 comments:

Big Foot said...

First of all the trip was amazing and I enjoyed a lot of things on the trip, but the thing I enjoyed most was the water slide even though it was a bit chilly. There was some stuff that was more difficult than others, like portaging the canoes over 2000m. If there was anything I could do to improve the camping experience it would be to not get my canoe tipped into the cold river. I would definitely go on another canoe trip like this one. It was a lot of fun.

Kayaker said...

Going on this canoe trip really made me realize how much I actually like the outdoors. When we first got to the starting point of our trip we could see the changes that the previous group had gone through. They looked as if they had been through a war but none the less they were all happy and reluctant to go home. This put me at ease knowing the trip would be fun. Our first paddle went by quickly because everyone was full of energy after a long bus ride. The first portage was very short but showed good things for the future. It showed that we had a strong group so portaging would not be so bad. After that we had a long paddle and just as we got to our first campsite it started to rain luckily it was not too bad so our stuff stayed pretty well dry. When we got there the tarps were already set up so everyone raced to get a spot for their tents. A group of us decided to go to the nearest campsite and set up there, proclaiming it the man nook. As my tent group was setting up I began to cut up wood for the fire. After dinner some of us decided to go swimming which seemed like a good idea at the time. It ended up being extremely cold and the swim did not last long. After a long day and night of battle slugs we finally all settled and went to bed.


On day two we had our first real portages so the strengths of our group would truly come out. After a nice breakfast of oatmeal and english muffins it was time to pack up and get on with our journey. Throughout the entire trip I really enjoyed canoeing because it was so peaceful and the scenery was great. On the first portage it proved to be long and grueling but we all pushed through. After more canoeing and portaging we went to the water slides which were really fun but very cold. After a delicious lunch we headed to our campsite. We went at a slightly slower pace that day so we did not end up getting the campsite we wanted but we made the best of it with a spaghetti dinner. At this campsite it was pretty rainy but we all still had a great time playing lick the stick.


The next day was the hardest day for portaging because we had to do the long 750m one that I don't think anyone enjoyed. It was a good workout though and I felt really good after it was all finished. Then it was on to the canyon which proved to be a lot more action packed then it was supposed to be with my canoe tipping and battle canoes. But with friendly gestures from friends lending me clothes I was dry in no time. Now that I'm reflecting back on it there were so many things that could have prevented it but it was a good experience. I will now be a lot safer in canoes. That night was pretty uneventful probably because everyone was getting pretty tired.


The next day was the final day and a pretty easy one. Finishing off the portaging was really satisfying but at the same time upsetting because it meant the trip was coming to an end. When we got to our destination we were all happy but I wish we could have stayed a couple more nights. All in all the trip was a great experience and I learn't quite a bit and I hope to go on many more trips just like that one.

Scott McIlroy

Kayaker said...

So canoe trip three was PRETTY AMASING!
Such a great time.
Best canoe trip of my life.

I think the most memorable part of the canoe trip was Scott and Patricks canoe going under.
It was scary when it happend, esspecially because they both jumped into branden and my canoe, and tipped us to almost falling in. But fortunatly we didn't go in somehow. Very lucky. But over all I think it was well handled. They were brought to shore, changed into dry clothes and new wood was gathered very quickly.

The worst part of the whole trip, would be the weather. the rain and lack of all day sunshine. It was terrible weather, but it was just bad enough to make some nights unenjoyable. Esspecialy since we did not prepare properly.

The best part of the whole trip i found was how everyone worked so well together to get everything done, some people went off and set up tents and some people stayed and got the canoes organized, and our dinning tent/area set up. And at the end of the night no one was ever upset with one another because someone did not do enough work. Everyone had great attitudes throughout the entire trip which I think was excellent, and very impressive.

I think that this summer my friends and I might do a canoe trip. we all think it would be a great idea, a little less portaging but other than that, we will probably do a canoe trip, because we all had so much fun.

Travis Ferguson

Sarah Poluha said...

So all around I give this trip a 10/10! I couldn't imagine going on this trip with a better group of people, including the supervisors.

Day 1 was exciting because we got to see the previous group come in with charcoal all over their faces..shows what being in the outdoors for 4 days do to you! The first portage was short thankfully. I didn't beleive we'd have a strenuous second day until I found myself portaging and panting up the rocky trail. Although the portages were tiring and challenging, singing Jackson 5 with Laura and Amanda made me forget I was carrying a 20 pound food barrel on my back.

I had so many things I enjoyed, but the one that topped them all was definitely the water slides. It was a long second day, so it was good to relax and have fun by the slides. It was beyond freezing, but that rush of adrenaline was what got me to do it. Another challenging task, I found, was getting the food together for dinner. Everybody was so hungry and eager to eat after a long day of canoeing, therefore it was stressful. The boys would stand so close to you with their bowls sticking out, waiting for you to spoon out some spaghetti.

Something I would do to improve my experience for next time, would definitely be to pack more clothing...not as much as Troy, but some more, because I rarely slept at night because I was so cold! I would definitely go on another canoe trip. I thoroughly enjoyed myself playing Hide and Seek in the pitch black, listening to all the boys (and 2 girls) playing 'Battle Slugs', and all our inside jokes we made along the way. Thanks so much Mr.Brouwer and Ms.Lacroix for an awesome trip!

Kayaker said...

By Travis Ferguson

So canoe trip three was PRETTY AMASING!
Such a great time.
Best canoe trip of my life.

I think the most memorable part of the canoe trip was Scott and Patricks canoe going under.
It was scary when it happend, esspecially because they both jumped into branden and my canoe, and tipped us to almost falling in. But fortunatly we didn't go in somehow. Very lucky. But over all I think it was well handled. They were brought to shore, changed into dry clothes and new wood was gathered very quickly.

The worst part of the whole trip, would be the weather. the rain and lack of all day sunshine. It was terrible weather, but it was just bad enough to make some nights unenjoyable. Esspecialy since we did not prepare properly.

The best part of the whole trip i found was how everyone worked so well together to get everything done, some people went off and set up tents and some people stayed and got the canoes organized, and our dinning tent/area set up. And at the end of the night no one was ever upset with one another because someone did not do enough work. Everyone had great attitudes throughout the entire trip which I think was excellent, and very impressive.

I think that this summer my friends and I might do a canoe trip. we all think it would be a great idea, a little less portaging but other than that, we will probably do a canoe trip, because we all had so much fun.

Kayaker said...

By Gareth

Day1: Day one was the easily of the three days because there was just one short portage and the weather was nice and sunny,I liked been incharge of the fire because it gave me something to do.Day one also had the best camp site over all.

Day2: Day two was probably hardest day of the trip because of the many long portages and long canoe trips, I liked stopping at the water slide at lunch and just chilling for a bit. The worst part was where all the equipment had to go down a steep hill and then into the water. Best part was lunch and dinner.

Day3: When I woke up, My groups tent was flooded and are stuff got all wet ,which was a bit of a bad start to that day but It ended up drying at the end. I liked this day because we didn't leave camp til after lunch. I also loved the beautiful scenery like the long canyon and the rocks.The camp was much better than Day two's because the soil was deeper.

I enjoy this trip, It was enlighting because I notice how much I use and dependent on technology daily. The thing I noticed the most was the of leak of artifiail light outside. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had brought along plates and folks.